Sunday, September 23, 2012

DIY: lavender bath melts

When I first started looking at DIY bath products online, everything seemed so complicated. Many recipes involved hard-to-find ingredients and tricky instructions. When I came across this one, I knew it was right. It's uses just three totally natural ingredients (only one of which I had to order online).

I was so pleased with this recipe that I would definitely try it again. These lavender-studded bath melts make the perfect holiday gift or housewarming present. Enjoy!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 cup pure, raw cocoa butter (I ordered mine on ebay)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (I found mine at Trader Joe's)
  • 1/4 cup lavender buds (I found these at a local farmer's market, but you can also order online)
Here's what you do:
  1. Add cocoa butter and coconut oil to a sauce pan and turn heat on low. 
  2. Gently stir until the mixture is liquid. 
  3. Use any ice cube tray (I opted for silicone) as the bath melt mold. 
  4. Pour liquid into each cube.
  5. Sprinkle lavender into each cube.
  6. Put the ice cube tray in the freezer overnight.

Monday, September 17, 2012

fall cravings

fall cravings

Even though the stubborn summer heat won't let up, there are signs of fall popping up everywhere. Gauzy sweaters replace sheer T-shirts, pumpkin spice lattes give the boot to iced tea concoctions, and makeup counters substitute pastel colors with jewel tones. It's the perfect time of year for so many reasons. Here are a few items that top off my fall wishlist:

1. Burberry Fresh Glow ($48): This pink-tone brightener is meant to be worn as a sheer base. For weekend purposes, it's all you need. The pearly finish gives you that glow-from-within look — and who doesn't want that?

2. theBalm Staniac ($17): That rosy, frost-bitten glow is nearly impossible to obtain in Southern California. This blood-red lip and cheek stain is the perfect way to fake it!

3. Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Palette ($60): I'm a forever fan of Bobbi Brown eye palettes. They're always versatile, practical and totally gorgeous. This one is full of shimmery, moonlit colors and nude basics. Ideal for work and play.

4. Sisley Kohl Eyeliner ($55): ...for an eyeliner? It's called a wishlist for a reason. This eggplant color would look amazing on the waterline or above the lash line. Smudged out or drawn on thick — you can't go wrong.

5. YSL Nail Trio ($45): Rich, velvety colors are ideal for fall months. This trio is the epitome of jewel-tone perfection. If I had to pick one (to appease my budget), I would choose the tiger's eye hue on the right.

6. By Terry Sexy Plum blush ($75): If you have a moment to click away, do yourself a favor and read the well-written description for this compact: "It sculpts cheekbones with a melt-away halo." Melt-away halo? Leave it to Barneys. Now I kinda have to go test it out, right?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

high school sweethearts

high school sweethearts

Everyone dated that one guy in high school. The one you thought was totally perfect and couldn't do anything wrong. Meh, so much for that.

The other day, I was walking past a Bobbi Brown counter at the mall and realized I hadn't stopped by for quite some time. You see, Bobbi Brown was my favorite makeup brand in high school. I still love it, but I find myself branching out to explore new brands more and more. In a way, those original products are like high school boyfriends. It always seemed like they were the end-all-be-all... until you step back and realize there's more out there.

You'll notice a mix of higher-end products and drugstore brands. For me, it's important to splurge on the basics and cut back on things like lipgloss and mascara. Here's the breakdown:

Mascara: Lacome waterproof mascara —> Maybelline Great Lash
Concealer: Bobbi Brown concealer stick —> Make Up For Ever concealer
Bronzer: Bobbi Brown bronzer —> NARS Laguna bronzer
Perfume: Marc Jacobs Daisy —> Chloe Eau de Parfum
Lipgloss: Lacome Juicy Tube —> Forever21 sheer gloss

Monday, September 10, 2012

it's a setup

These last few weeks of summer in Southern California have been some of the hottest. Wearing a full face of makeup isn't practical in the heat, so I stick with a few basics: tough-as-nails concealer, bronzer, winged eyeliner and mascara. While walking around a music festival the other week, I realized my winged eyeliner was MIA. As in, it wasn't above my lash line anymore. It was smudged in my crease and quickly disintegrating. I did what any port-a-potty-fearing girl would do — I slipped on a pair of sunglasses. Problem solved.

It got me thinking, though, about how to make eyeliner last through heat, sweat and humidity. Setting the liner and your lid with powder really does the trick. Here's what I do: 
- Use liquid liner as usual. 
- Load an eyeliner brush with dark brown eyeshadow. 
- Trace over the liquid liner with the eyeshadow. 
- Apply a neutral eyeshadow all over your lid.

Sticky lids + liquid liner = smudge city. Powder-coated lids + powder-coated liner = eyeliner that stays put. How do you keep your makeup fresh all day? Leave a comment below!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

searchlight nail tutorial

You'll need: 
  • two nail polish colors
  • scotch tape
  • top coat
How to do it: 
  1. start with two coats of your first polish. I recommend using a lighter color (or a metallic) so it really pops.
  2. Cut tiny strips of tape and leave one side pointed (like really long, skinny triangles). Apply the strips of tape to your nail, making sure the pointy ends meet at the top. 
  3. Cover the whole nail, including the tape, with your second polish. 
  4. Quickly peel off the tape before the polish can dry or set. If you wait too long, the polish will chip. Once the design is dry, cover with top coat.

Monday, September 3, 2012

the best of the best: hair accessories on etsy

1. Think hair combs are reserved for the 50-plus set? Think again. An embellished comb looks great nestled into a bun or chignon. This turquoise feather number is from FawningInLove (they sell amazing jewelry, too!).
2. A hair chain is the perfect accessory for a music festival or girls' dinner (guys just won't get this trend). La LaRocque has more than a few styles to choose from — this simple, three-strand chain is a good starter piece.
3. Clusters of crystals, stars, and pearls make this headband one of a kind. Although it's advertised as bridal jewelry on Wish Piece, the statement accessory could be worn with a striped tee and jeans.
4. These embellished bobby pins are crafted with tiny snippets of vintage map paper. The other pin is domed lucite from the 1940's, which just sounds very fancy and fabulous. Check out sherry truitt studios if you want to wear NYC — or another city — in your hair!
5. Don't forget to check out vintage shops, like RapidCityVintage, for retro hair accessories. This golden beaded bow is sweet enough for work and chic enough for a night out.
6. Put your bad hair day in check with a super stylish turban. This elastic, light-weight material is perfect for running errands or brunching. Rum Raisin is your one stop shop for the best patterns and best prices ($12.50).